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Rebranding is not an easy undertaking. Companies big and small will tell you that it’s arduous, time-consuming, not to mention risky. Regardless of all these perceived obstacles, the companies that have gone through it are convinced that it’s worth the money, time, and effort.
The reasons for rebranding are as varied as the ways you can go about it. The following paragraphs will elaborate on what these reasons and methods are. It will also provide helpful insights on creating a marketing strategy that will work for a rebranded business.
Why Companies Are Rebranding
Companies always aim to make a profit, and sometimes doing so requires a do-over for that one brand (or maybe even a few at the same time). Arguably, the most common reason for rebranding is relevance. Brands that have been around for decades might feel the need to do so to keep up with competition and the evolving needs of their customers.
A case in point is Dunkin’, which went through rebranding in the latter part of the 2010s to reflect its growing beverage priorities. The move proved beneficial for the 71-year-old company, which saw a 50 percent increase in espresso sales.
If staying relevant is one reason for rebranding, what are others?
Changes in Business Ownership
An acquisition or demerger typically results in an immediate rebrand. The objective here is not only to make the change visible but also to comply with legal requirements.
In the case of a demerger, the party that has split off is now obligated to develop its own brand and send a clear signal it no longer forms part of the organization. With an acquisition, the new company may create an entirely new brand or use the name of one of the parties involved.
An environmental scandal or exposed data breach are just two ways companies can earn a bad rap. And if a company is being talked about negatively within the industry, it can be detrimental to business stability and growth. A rebrand project can, given time, remove any negative associations with the brand.
There are scenarios where rebranding is necessary so that a brand can go international. For example, if a brand name is specific to a country, it needs to be changed for use in a different country. There’s also the case of companies selling the same product under other brand names opting to use just one international brand, like Raider to Twix or Smith’s to Lay’s.
The arrival of a new CEO, CMO, or COO will often result in significant organizational changes. The rebranding of the Dunkin’ brands was brought about by the new marketing chief Tony Weisman. Steve Jobs changed the company’s rainbow-colored logo to a metallic-looking apple with a single bite upon his return to Apple in 1997. This logo is now synonymous with the company and is known all over the world.
Marketing a Rebranded Business
Say your own company is currently engaged in a rebranding project. You now have a shiny new logo, fun colors, and a catchy slogan. Your team knows the next steps to take, and the new brand has already been embedded in your business. You have already invested in new brand-aligned custom packaging, so your product truly stands out from the competition.
It’s time to show off your rebooted brand to the world, but you’re unsure of the best way to go about it. Here are a few tips to help your public rebrand marketing go as smoothly as possible.
Use Teasers to Build Excitement
Get your loyal customers in on the excitement with mentions that an enormous change is coming up. In the run-up to launch day, tease the big changeover by sending targeted emails and social media posts that use video and imagery. The key here is not to give away too much, just enough to pique your viewers’ interest. Also, offer behind-the-scenes hints of the preparation work while it’s underway.
Share Your Rebrand Story
Storytelling has and will always be a powerful marketing tool. So tell your followers what made you want to rebrand and your hopes for the future now that it’s done. Offer a behind-the-scenes look into the rebranding process.
Adding that human element gets people engaged with your brand on an emotional level. Think about what stories you can tell about the design of the logo or how you choose the new brand color scheme. These are the stories that will add a punch to your social media and even above-the-line advertising.
Show Love for Your Brand Ambassadors
Who are your brand ambassadors? They are the customers who are most passionate and excited about your brand. They are the people who talk positively about your products to their friends, family, and followers.
Brand ambassadors can be great allies in spreading the word about your rebrand. Encourage them to do just that by reaching out and giving them an early update on the news. You can also offer incentives for them to spread the word.
Prepare to Answer Lots of Customer Queries
A big company change like a rebrand will be sure to spark lots of customer questions. Make sure to prepare an FAQ document and brief your customer service team on it, so they’re ready to field the onslaught of inquiries. In addition, you can have the marketing team create an FAQ article or video for your website. Share links to it in your promotional posts, emails, and ads.
Engage the Media
A company’s rebrand project makes for an exciting news story, so include PR in your rebrand marketing strategy. Be proactive with your outreach. Help journalists and commentators by issuing press releases announcing the rebrand. It’s also a good idea to have a designated representative who will do interviews if requested. They can be the brand founder, head of marketing, or someone on your creative team. If you work with a rebranding agency, loop them in, add their quotes, and share the PR benefits.
Businesses choose to rebrand for lots of different reasons. While some pursue it as a strategic move to remain relevant, others need to do it to clean up their reputations or comply with corporate laws.
Regardless of the purpose, a rebrand is undoubtedly a massive and risky undertaking. That said, careful thought and planning by all concerned departments are necessary before it is implemented. Getting the buy-in from higher management and other stakeholders is also crucial before such a project can be properly and extensively promoted.